The company hopes to raise $25,000 by June 17 on its Kickstarter page: bit.ly/TROPICUP
May 23, 2022 (SAN JUAN) -- VITAL (vitalmarket.co), a Puerto Rican startup on a mission to “mainstream green” in Puerto Rico and beyond, surpassed $15,000 raised in its first three days on Kickstarter, the popular crowdfunding platform. The funds will be used to develop TROPICUP, a reusable alternative to disposable cups that supports Puerto Rico’s sustainable economy by working directly with local artists and contributing to conservation efforts on the island. The campaign, which ends June 17, has a fundraising goal of $25,000, which will also be used to sponsor environmental projects, such as hiring local artists to create murals with recycled bottle caps.
“Sustainability combines environmental, social and economic well-being,” explained founder & CEO Laura Napoli, who returned to Puerto Rico after spending 13 years in the diaspora. “As a social enterprise we want our impact to touch upon every dimension. With TROPICUP, we’re going beyond creating a zero-waste alternative to disposable cups by also seeking to uplift the abundance of creative talent on the island.”
The startup commissioned Boricua illustrator Lorraine Rodríguez for the cup’s original design, which she described as “an expression of the island’s natural encanto, which we strive to protect”. She added, “I’m grateful and proud to collaborate with VITAL on a project that, in addition to supporting my work as an illustrator, reflects my values with respect to the environment. This kind of effort always moves and motivates me.”
TROPICUP will be made from platinum-grade silicone, a substance known for its practical properties including its flexibility, which makes the cup collapsible and thus easy to store, and compatibility with hot and cold temperatures. Further, silicone is free of BPA and other chemicals present in plastic-based alternatives and ultra durable, a claim the company backs with a lifetime guarantee.
Campaign backers will receive the cups plus the opportunity to earn rewards tied to environmental initiatives, such as adding their names to a bottlecap mural and signing an open letter calling for environmental policies. VITAL will also donate 1% of TROPICUP sales to a nonprofit dedicated to conserving the island’s forests.
“Some may wonder whether it’s wise to launch this campaign at eight months pregnant. The truth is my imminent motherhood has motivated me even more to fight for a habitable planet and an equitable Puerto Rico,” remarked Ms Napoli, who is expecting her first child this summer. “Our products help people adopt eco friendly habits day-to-day, but our goal isn’t to have them reach the perfect individual ‘carbon footprint’. Instead, our hope is to awaken collective consciousness and inspire community action – it’s the only way we’ll achieve the necessary magnitude of change.”